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Thursday's Afternoon Update

Florida at vanguard of autonomous car future

If you are in the know, you don't call them "driverless cars," you call them autonomous cars. By whatever name, they are cars that drive themselves through the use of laser radar and sophisticated GPS. And, Florida is vying to be a testing ground for this vehicle of the not-too-distant future. Florida is one of just three states (California and Nevada are the others) that have put laws on the books to govern the testing of autonomous cars. More at the Tampa Bay Times.


St. Augustine may get transportation center

Local transportation planners are studying options for a “multimodal transportation center” in St. Augustine that would help link the historic city with the rest of the region. The new site would conceivably bring together Amtrak service, regional commuter rail and other modes of transportation, which supporters say would enhance economic development and tourism. More at the Jacksonville Business Journal and the St. Augustine Record.

Related Florida Trend Content
» Snapshot: Local Rail in Florida


More than one-third of South Florida homes still underwater

Regulation Trends

Snook season to re-open, amid debate

snook
Restrictions will be lifted Sept. 1 when Florida wildlife officials open snook season for the first time in more than three years. But not everyone is running out to buy buttermilk and other fish-fry fixings.

Anglers and charter boat captains are deeply divided on the decision. Some believe the fish needs more time to recover, while others say the population is doing fine and note that snook season is an important economic driver.

» Full story from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune

» See the regulations from Florida FWC

With South Florida home values rising, the share of mortgaged homes that were underwater fell again in the second quarter, according to Zillow. Despite the improving trend, “millions of homeowners remain so far underwater that it will take years for them to regain equity, even as home values continue their recovery,’’ Zillow said. More at the Miami Herald.


Coral Springs pharmaceutical firm to be sold

Boca Pharmacal, which makes generic drugs in Coral Springs, has agreed to be acquired for $225 million in cash by a subsidiary of Endo Health Solutions, a Pennsylvania-based company. Endo's Qualitest subsidiary, which it acquired in 2010, would be the entity buying Boca Pharmacal. More at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.


Univision, new Fusion channel open headquarters in Doral

Univision dominates Spanish-language broadcasting, more than doubling the audience of its largest rival, Telemundo. But starting this fall, Univision will tackle an audience that has always been foreign to the Doral-based network: people who watch television in English. More at the Miami Herald.

Out of the Box
Gas Wars

wawaNeither City Hall, a court battle nor the news media could make the two Central Florida gas stations with some of the highest prices in America change their ways. But will Wawa succeed where others have failed? Starting Thursday, Wawa will open its doors — and its gas pumps — just a block from the two gas stations closest to Orlando International Airport that charge much higher than market prices: $5.99 a gallon on Tuesday.

» More from the Orlando Sentinel